Indie music hasn’t been the same for quite some time. Many of the reasons could stem from rampant downloading of music, or it could be, for some people, the absence of indie's staple band The Shins. The Shins are one of those pinnacle indie groups that continues to be most people's introduction to the “independent” genre. The James Mercer led group has been at the forefront in the music industry for quite some time since Zach Braff used their famous song “New Slang” in his directorial debut Garden State. Their departure from the indie scene has been troubling, but Mercer's work with the prolific producer Danger Mouse in their collaborative group Broken Bells has been worth it. In their time working together, they’ve released an amazing debut LP, Broken Bells, and an EP Meyrin Fields. Though their collaboration is by far one of the best in recent memory, it is time for Mercer to return to his seminal group.

In the next week, Mercer will be joined by bassist Yuuki Matthews, guitarist Jessica Dobson, keyboardist Richard Swift and drummer Joe Plummer for a long awaited tour. Did I just hear a loud scream among the hipsters? Since 2007’s Wincing The Night Away, Mercer hasn’t released anything from his group, so this is a big deal for many. The tour will consist of a few festival appearances, including De Luna Festival in Florida, and this will likely be a final tour for quite some time. Here are the dates:

The Shins 2011 Tour Dates:
08/08 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
08/09 – Bend, OR @ Domino Room
08/10 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
08/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Music Festival
09/22 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
09/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Popped! Music Festival
09/24 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/15 – Pensacola, FL @ DeLuna Fest

Circulating the music blogs, it is said that Mercer is working on a new album due out next year, so be excited everyone. If you make it to one of the eight dates listed, you’ll probably hear some of that apparent new material. Even though I love his collaboration with Danger Mouse, it’s still very exciting that Mercer is getting back with his original group. Though his work with Broken Bells was groundbreaking, it's been a long time since anyone has heard news about the “New Slang” hit-makers, so I’m happy for those hipsters who get to experience their glory once again.

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